The Scissor-Cutting Art of Marie-Helene L. Grabman
FAQ's (about Scherenschnitte and my cuttings)
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The art of "Scherenschnitte", or scissor cuttings, is not very well known in this country. The art tradition was founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 1500's. It was brought to Colonial America in the 1700's by immigrants who settled primarily in Pennsylvania. The work often has symmetry within the design.
Not many early American scissor cuttings remain, due to the frailty of the old paper that was not acid free. The ones that do exist are found in select collections.
Only a handful of artists in this country practice the original, intricate, lace-like European style of cutwork, my specialty.
But, this is only the beginning!
With many of my works, the intricate scherenschnitte forms the base of each design. I then begin the collage style composition. I sometimes cut additional pieces of paper and add them above or under the base cutting to create a focal point. Other times I add touches of acrylic paint or colored pencil or watercolor to give dimensional texture. And then on some cuttings, I use ink to add verses in calligraphy.
My paper cuttings are distinguished by another important element. I never glue down my cuttings completely...I float them on the back mat because I feel the shadows created from this 3-dimensional technique play an important role in the final composition.
In my art, I use acid-free, imported black silhouette papers, or white, text weight acid free papers. The added layers of paper are attached with a dot of acid free glue. I cut the paper using European scissors.
How do you purchase a picture?
I do not have an order form included in this web site since some of the work in the Gallery pages is one of a kind and may have been already purchased. Please contact me to discuss availability. Purchases can be made by credit card, Pay Pal, or check, and I can also work out a "lay away" system at no additional charge. With the help of my digital camera, I can even email pictures of frames to show you various choices available!
For more information about Scherenschnitte, please go the web site of the Guild of American Papercutters: